The gun markets of Pakistan
April 9, 2007 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Who killed Jean Reno and made this guy the Professional?
posted by phaedon at 1:48 PM on April 9, 2007

Vice TV (travel at least) has been surprisingly good. I though it would be way more half-assed but it's quite actually compelling.
posted by jcruelty at 1:52 PM on April 9, 2007

Not Wafe For Pork?
North-West First Post?
Non-youtube-video-single-link Will-make Front Page?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:53 PM on April 9, 2007

Michael Palin also visited the gun market in his Himalaya series. Was helluva interesting. They can copy almost every gun and most of them are handmade to boot.
posted by PenDevil at 1:56 PM on April 9, 2007

Looks like fun.
posted by delmoi at 1:57 PM on April 9, 2007

North-west frontier provence
posted by delmoi at 1:58 PM on April 9, 2007

Kind of like Jackass meets Frontline.

Pretty compelling, however.
posted by psmealey at 1:58 PM on April 9, 2007

Moral of the story: do not fuck with the producer.
posted by phaedon at 1:59 PM on April 9, 2007

[This is good.]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2007

I think I missed the schoolday where they taught what NWFP is.
posted by rolypolyman at 2:13 PM on April 9, 2007

the tone of this is really interesting. jackass meets frontline sums it up nice.

very humanizing tho. i always imagine a mixture of nazi and catholic imagery when i think of "islamofascists," don't you? not that i believed it, but that's what i was working with. this is more like the ghetto meets the wild west.

i think it paints a much better picture of what we're dealing with. who could possibly think we'd be greeted as liberators here? did they treat Mexico as liberators at the Alamo? do they welcome police in the ghetto?

maybe the video was a bit flip, but it helps to remind the viewer that these are not humorless maniacs, these are regular people existing in a world enmeshed entirely around weaponry and conflict. they live, live, love, laugh, and make and shoot guns.

maybe i'm naive, but this video really drove this home for me for the first time.
posted by es_de_bah at 2:15 PM on April 9, 2007

I know this wasn't the intention of the movie but - that is totally the NRA's wet dream.

I liked it.
posted by champthom at 2:16 PM on April 9, 2007

very humanizing tho. i always imagine a mixture of nazi and catholic imagery when i think of "islamofascists," don't you?

Uh, no? This video fit in pretty well with my expectations, although I didn't know they made guns by hand.
posted by delmoi at 2:17 PM on April 9, 2007

MetaFilter: They live in caves, they have no tongues, they make guns with their bare hands.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 2:22 PM on April 9, 2007 [3 favorites]

i always imagine a mixture of nazi and catholic imagery when i think of "islamofascists," don't you?

Personally I always think "What a bullshit term". However, yeah, the people that use it are probably going for something like that.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on April 9, 2007

Good video, it reinforced the difficulty of warfare in that part of the world and the nature of the place as a magnet for conflict throughout history.

As the host mentioned, the region has seen Aryans, Mongols, British, Russians and now Americans involved in war there. The British supplied 10k muskets, the Americans supplied Stinger missiles etc. to the Mujahideen during the Soviet occupation... others too have contributed to this area's fascination with (and need?) for weaponry.

Meddle, meddle, meddle. Sigh.
posted by knapah at 2:28 PM on April 9, 2007

MetaFilter: They live in caves, they have no guns, they make hands with their bare tongues.
posted by Luddite at 2:32 PM on April 9, 2007 [2 favorites]

Daily Motion has most of the Vice travel stuff on there. Most of them are pretty good, although the guy who goes to Chernobyl really annoys me.
posted by Falconetti at 2:40 PM on April 9, 2007

Flasher interview of Suroosh Alvi (part I, part II) He talks more about the Vice Guide to Travel in general, and about his visit to Pakistan in particular.

"The idea for the Vice Guide to Travel... I guess you could say that Spike Jonze planted the seed in our head."

Jonze produced and wrote for both Jackass movies, so the similar tone is no coincidence. Now he's the creative director for, Vice's internet tv branch.
posted by techgnollogic at 2:51 PM on April 9, 2007

An armed society is a polite society.
posted by nola at 2:51 PM on April 9, 2007

I don't know, nola; I'd be pretty offended if someone started firing an automatic over main-street.
posted by Richard Daly at 2:58 PM on April 9, 2007

Hair raising post. Yikes.

I've been talking about this scary corner of the planet since travelling through it a couple of times in 1975 and learning about it from Afghani refugees, while I was living in New Delhi.

When Afghani refugees came to India in 1979/1980, after the Russians invaded Afghanistan, they weren't allowed to work in India, so many of them turned to the rapidly growing heroin business, which had been built by the CIA in Pakistan to corrode the Russian army in Afghanistan. The corrupt Pakistani government then got in on the CIA run heroin business and used the money selling heroin to the USA to buy armaments. A gigantic multinational mess, which is still going on.

Even back in 1975 kids and adult males typically went around Landi Kotl casually with bandoliers of bullets and their rifles or machine guns on their hips as they walked their goats up and down the adobe fortress studded desert hillsides.

Khyber Pass isn't a village or a town so much as the name of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But the village nearest there, Landi Kotl, became a phenomenally powerful heroin bazar, with a main street of stalls just for the heroin trade, openly. One booth for suitcases with false lining, one booth for statues or other hollow objects heroin could be smuggled in, another for false documents...The heroin business and the gun business went hand in hand. Peshawar is the main town nearest the Khyber Pass. It's truly a Wild West nightmare of a place and has been for a thousand years.

NWFP = The North West Frontier Province. This is what the Brit colonials called the dangerous borderlands between what is now called Pakistan and Afhganistan. (Pakistan was created out of three pieces of India stitched together into a new country at the time the Brits left India in 1949. 3 syllables taken from 3 provinces: PA=Panjab, KI = Kashmir, STAN = Baluchistan, PA-KI-STAN).
posted by nickyskye at 3:05 PM on April 9, 2007 [14 favorites]

Wow! Thanks for posting that.
posted by Area Control at 3:35 PM on April 9, 2007

thanks for this.
posted by 3.2.3 at 3:36 PM on April 9, 2007

Correction to my comment above on the etymology of the name Pakistan: The name was coined from the names of *five territories* in British India: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, and Tan/Stan (Balochistan/Tokharistan).
posted by nickyskye at 3:57 PM on April 9, 2007 [2 favorites]

According to a local paper in Pakistan, the government tried to crack down on the sale of unlicensed guns in Dara Adam Khel in end 2005. Here's why it's not quite so simple.
posted by Azaadistani at 4:20 PM on April 9, 2007

They make guns? Looks more like they refurbish guns, which is hardly the same thing.

Most interesting. nevertheless.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:47 PM on April 9, 2007

I know this wasn't the intention of the movie but - that is totally the NRA's wet dream.

Not in a thousand years ! These people make their own guns and's like RIAA and MPAA daydreaming of a nation in which people make their own movies and distribute it for a dime and share with each other.

Ok these are weapons, low quality, hardly any standard of control..but to make some weapon one doesn't need hoardes of engineers. And indeed, reading from azaadistani's article
“We want to legalise the market by allowing them to produce weaponry, in particular hunting rifles for the US, under licence,” Shahzad Arbab, a senior administrator, said. “We also intend to enforce a system in which weapons can be sold only to licence-holders and sellers log every sale to ensure that arms manufactured in Dara Adam Khel do not make their way to gangsters and terrorists. “
Ahaha licence ? Patent ? Ahahah ! I doubt these people have sanitation and/or running water yet they want to run a factory ? Well with some investment maybe, but
Mohammed Hafiz sat in a workshop decorated with posters calling Muslims to embark on Jihad, making cartridge cases for Rs1000 pistols. “Why would I work in the government factory for Rs2500 a month when here I earn Rs4000,” he said. The new initiative is also meeting stiff resistance from Dara and local tribal leaders.
Obviously he is an ignorant simpleton that doesn't understand he has to pay for the privilege of working for another company that will sell his gun to gun toting americans for 1000000 times what he earns : damn pakistani wants freedom and enterprise, that'll teach em !
posted by elpapacito at 4:54 PM on April 9, 2007

Dara Adam Khel, or Darra, is a few miles from Peshawar. Though it's a small village, it's one of the world's largest arms bazars.
posted by nickyskye at 5:00 PM on April 9, 2007

I like the offhand comment "he has no tongue", with no explanation.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:02 PM on April 9, 2007

+1 for "NWFP" sight gag!

Excellent article to boot.
posted by WPW at 5:33 PM on April 9, 2007

Excellent article to boot.

a video, not an article.
posted by nickyskye at 6:09 PM on April 9, 2007

link to .FLV case you want to watch with the correct aspect ratio.
posted by unmake at 6:16 PM on April 9, 2007

A bit more about Suroosh Alvi, who made the film and his VICE. GooTube videos of/by/about him.
posted by nickyskye at 6:21 PM on April 9, 2007

The Vice Guide to Travel is actually very good and fairly sobering in a let's-get-trashed-re:-how-messed-up-the-world-is sort of way, albeit sometimes hit or miss.
posted by pokermonk at 7:23 PM on April 9, 2007

Ah, yes. Peter Mayle's lesser-known sequel A Year in North-West Frontier Provence. Gardening around landmines, wacky Islamic neighbors, and lots of guns.
posted by dhartung at 9:09 PM on April 9, 2007

Great video, thanks.
posted by IronLizard at 9:34 PM on April 9, 2007

This is awesome. The guy hosting it has some poignant thoughts on Aryan supremecy, and manages to find two blue-eyed descendents of German colonizers in the jungles of Paraguay.
posted by borkingchikapa at 10:09 PM on April 9, 2007

Dude totally looks like Gordon Freeman in that first shot.
posted by redteam at 10:09 PM on April 9, 2007

Very interesting. Love the content & visuals.

[great soundtrack as well]
posted by algreer at 1:11 AM on April 10, 2007

I know this wasn't the intention of the movie but - that is totally the NRA's wet dream.

Every NRA person I have ever known is careful not to point guns at anyone unless they mean it. A friend of mine's father was showing me his pistol, making a point of pointing it away from everyone so that it would not kill anyone in the event of an accident. I've also seen kids get kicked out of sporting goods stores for pointing unloaded shotguns at people.

So you can imagine my fright when I saw guns repeatedly pointed at the camera. Not for my own life, but people who go pointing guns willy-nilly probably are not very aware of their trigger fingers either.
posted by bugmuncher at 6:43 AM on April 10, 2007

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